How to Read Minds, With the Mentalist Henrik Fexeus

Is mind reading possible? How can we interpret body language to better understand what others are really thinking? In this week’s episode, Alice and Melissa explore these and other questions with the help of Swedish mentalist Henrik Fexeus (also known as “Swedish Derren Brown”). Henrik is the author of the international bestseller The Art of Mind Reading: How to Understand and Influence Others Without Noticing Them , and in this episode he explains what mind reading really is and how we can use it to our advantage.

After talking with Henrik, listen to Alice and Melissa try out the mind-reading trick on Lifehacker staff writer Nick Douglas and Senior Video Editor Joel Kahn.

Listen to The Upgrade above, or find us in all the usual podcast locations including Apple Podcasts , Google Play , Spotify , iHeartRadio , Stitcher, and NPR One.

Highlights from this week’s series

From an interview with Henrik Fexeus:

On defining what mind reading really is:

By my definition, mind reading is the ability to understand what’s going on in someone’s head by observing their non-verbal communication, because all your emotions, your feelings and important thoughts will be displayed using minute cues in your facial muscles and how you move and how you speak. So, just by taking note of that, you can pretty much know what’s going on in someone’s head. You won’t be able to find out what color they think, what can I do on stage as an illusionist. But you will have much more practical information.

How we flirt unconsciously:

So flirting is really just giving someone a little more attention in order to recognize someone else. You know, it doesn’t have to be meaningful or even sexy, for that matter. And that’s how we flirt all the time, because that’s one of the things that makes being human so much fun. And one day, of course, we do it on purpose, when we are really attracted to someone. But what’s funny is that we can be attracted to someone even on an unconscious or subconscious level, that we do not even suspect that we are attracted to this person. And one of the things we do is what we talked about earlier, about mirroring. We adapt body language and non-verbal behavior to this person to show them that I am a little like you. So you don’t have to be afraid of me. And here’s the funny thing: if you take control of behavior that is usually subconscious, you can use that to get fantastic results.

To learn more about Henrik’s mind reading tips and tricks, and to hear Alice and Melissa’s own attempts at mastering the skill, check out the podcast.

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